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Comic Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #74

by Dan Gehen

“The Trial of Krang” is fully under way, specifically the actual trial part. The Turtles face their biggest challenge yet – spicy hot courtroom action! Will they overcome this struggle? Let’s find out!

Comic Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #74

(W) Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, (A) Cory Smith, (C) Ronda Pattison

Probably the kindest description of “The Trial of Krang” is that it’s a slow burn that brings a lot of weirdness to the world of the TMNT. But a more honest assessment is that it merely serves to remind readers that Krang can still be a threat, and Triceritons exist. Within this issue, readers will find a lot of interesting concepts, but it all acts as a stopgap until we return to the Pantheon, the Foot Clan, and the other mutants in New York.

While this review’s opening salvo was full of sarcasm, it was also truthful about this issue’s plot – nearly all of it takes place within a courtroom. After an exciting introductory sequence that pays slight homage to Star Wars (1977), the issue slows to a crawl as witness after witness are questioned by space lawyers. As the prosecution’s case falls apart, it’s evident that Krang put together a legal dream team a la O.J. Simpson. The results are predictable, and I found myself skimming the pages rather than being fully engaged. When I caught myself doing this, I flipped back to see if I missed anything crucial to the plot. I didn’t.

I’ll give it to Cory Smith and Ronda Pattison – they at least make a slog of a story look good. Although his backgrounds are sparse, it’s evident that Smith put most of his energy into rendering the many different creatures that appear in this issue. Each unique character is fully detailed and animated, brought even further to life by Pattison’s consistently great colors.

On the heels of the disappointing Dimension X tie-in series is the most lackluster issue of IDW’s ongoing series, on that could be counted on time and again to deliver high quality content. Granted, even such vaunted runs as Claremont’s X-Men and Morrison’s Batman included the occasional dud, so there is no need to swear off the series after one bad issue. Chances are, this series will rebound nicely… after this arc ends.


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